NOTE: Arthur Smith's first appearance, Jeremy Hardy's first appearance, Mariella Frostrup's first appearance.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Hello and welcome to Just A Minute, the half hour verbal fencing match that we like to think of as a television show. And my guests tonight. Well first up, our resident raconteur, the man with the most entertaining eyebrows in show business and sideboards to match, Tony Slattery! Next to Tony a woman who somehow manages to combine being the Kate Adie of young programmes, the new Barry Norman and the sexiest woman on television. Sheís also very good at reviewing films, Mariella Frostrup! On my right, a comedian known and loved for his gentle self-deprecating sense of humour. Just recently heís rather modestly produced a book, a radio show and simultaneously a national tour. All entitled Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation, he is Jeremy Hardy! And lastly, and lastly, but by no means leastly, a compere, a stand-up comedian who was once half of a double act called Fiasco Jobjob. Yes he was, yes! Heís also a West End playwright, an ex-international porn star, it could be only Arthur Smith!

ARTHUR SMITH: Iím not a porn star!

NP: Theyíre going to try and play Just a Minute and the rules are ridiculously simple, until you play the game and then they become simply ridiculous. I ask them to speak on the subject i give them, and they try and do that without hesitation, repeating anything or deviating from the subject. They can challenge at any time, if I uphold the challenge they gain a point, and if I donít uphold the challenge, the one whoís speaking gains a point. They can repeat the subject which is on the card in front of me. Let us begin the show with this clot on my left who is sending me up rotten throughout my announcements. Heís incorrigible and he is Tony Slattery. The subject we would like you to talk on is what the butler saw at 10 Downing Street. You have 60 seconds as usual starting now.

TONY SLATTERY: Jeeves the butler wandered the corridors of 10 Downing Street. Oak panels and nasty gloomless things that they were. In one room he spied Carol Thatcher still desperately trying to come to terms with the fact that sheís got very bad makeup. And then Mark who was wandering around the room not knowing which door to go...


NP: Arthur Smith you challenged.

AS: You see, Margaret Thatcherís no longer Prime Minister, is she?

TS: This was a historical account!

NP: The thing is Arthur, I donít think he was deviating from the subject because it could be any butler. He hasnít established which butler.

AS: Well, which Downing Street is it?

NP: Right, I think 10 Downing Street does refer to the one where the Prime Minister lives. And it was the butler obviously that was in residence at the time when the Thatcher era was occurring. And I.... fascinating, isnít it?

MARIELLA FROSTRUP: I was enjoying the story, I think he should go on!

NP: I know, itís such a, such an intelligent programme isnít it! Tony, I disagree with the challenge, you keep the subject, you get a point for a wrong challenge and you have 41 seconds starting now.

TS: In another chamber, Denis was upside down in a plastic bucket of warm malt whisky. And then I came across Margaret Thatcher! Was she at her desk writing? No, she was biting the heads off chickens! This was her normal...


NP: Jeremy you challenged. Why?

JEREMY HARDY: He repeated Thatcher!

NP: He did! Yes! Correct challenge from Jeremy Hardy so he gets a point for that, he takes over the subject, what the butler saw at 10 Downing Street, 27 seconds starting now.

JH: These images were both...


NP: Tony Slattery.

TS: I think there was a pause before he started, there was a hesitation.

JH: It was a pause for laughter, I was just assuming I would get it!

TS: Woooooo!

NP: As there was silence when you spoke, you must be a very strange comedian. Um...

JH: Oh get her!

NP: Tony Slattery had a correct challenge and we have 18 seconds for you to take over the subject with a point of course, what the butler saw at 10 Downing Street starting now.

TS: The news was terribly bad! Margaret, Iím very sorry, you are going...


NP: Mariella.

MF: He repeated Margaret.

NP: Yes you said Margaret Thatcher before.

TS: Yes, yes!

NP: Well listened Mariella, youíre concentrating, good girl! What the butler saw...

MF: I donít normally, you know, Iím only a woman! Normally I canít concentrate at all!


NP: You didnít need to remind us Mariella, it was... blatantly obvious!

MF: The only or the woman?

NP: Whatís that?

MF: The only or the woman? Which was it I didnít need to remind you of?

NP: Both, my darling! Iíve gone! Iíve peaked already! Mariella you have the subject... what I was conveying was that you were concentrating while they were being frivolous.

TS: You were not! You were just having a big flirt! You were going ďwell done and well remembered, you cheeky little thing! Oooohhh!Ē Thatís what he was doing!

MF: Anyway, enough of you Tony!

NP: Enough of you Tony! Yes!

MF: Iím ready!

NP: Youíre ready!

TS: Iím right close!

NP: All right! What the butler saw at 10 Downing Street, Mariella, 14 seconds are left starting now.

MF: The butler actually saw very little at 10 Downing Street because he was tied up in a closet, blindfolded and wearing a tutu at the time. Because that was how Maggie liked to see her him. And she liked him to waltz out during dinner parties, and she would...


NP: Jeremy Hardy challenged.

JH: Repetition of liked.

NP: Yes she liked to walk out twice. Jeremy... you have the audience with you Mariella, thatís one thing.

MF: Thanks! Thank them!

NP: And Jeremy lost a little while ago, but heís got the subject back, and heís got one second starting now.

JH: The Antichrist herself!


NP: That whistle tells us that 60 seconds are up and whoever is speaking at that particular moment, gains an extra point. It was on this occasion Jeremy Hardy. And at the end of that round Jeremy has taken a strong lead ahead of the others. Mariella Frostrup, will you take the next round please, the subject is what I did on Richmond Hill. Can you tell us something about that in this game starting now.

MF: Well itís funny you should mention Richmond Hill, because I do actually like to go there very often. Particularly on Saturday afternoons when I take Tony for his weekly walk. He loves to don a collar and lead and scampering off doing funny things...


NP: Um Arthur...

AS: I believe she said he loves to dong a collar!

NP: She did!

MF: Arthur, I have never said dong in my life!

AS: Youíve never said it!

NP: Right well weíll move rapidly on! I think thatís the only thing we can do at this time of the evening! And Mariella you still have the subject, what I did on Richmond Hill, 50 seconds starting now.

MF: So thereís Tony running around...


NP: Tony?

TS: Repetition of Tony.

NP: You had Tony before.

TS: You had Tony in my...

MF: But youíre part of my story! How can I not... Thereís it running around?

NP: That is... that is the challenge, that is the challenge of Just A Minute, to continue with the story without referring to the person by the same name again.

MF: I was making you so famous...

TS: Mmmm!

MF: ... in the story and now... I canít believe you!

NP: Mariella... He is a dong fellow! Right! Forty-eight seconds left on what I did on Richmond Hill, Tony, starting now.

TS: On Richmond Hill, unlike on Blueberry Hill, where I left my heart. On Richmond Hill, I did not...


NP: Arthur Smith.

AS: Thereís too many hills, arenít there?

NP: Itís on the card, you can repeat the subject on the card. You donít have to take the whole phrase, you can take any word and repeat it.

AS: Well...

MF: No!

NP: That always has been...

JH: I have a correct challenge though.

NP: What was that?

JH: You donít find your heart on Blueberry Hill, you leave your heart, and you find your thrill.

NP: You are absolutely correct...

JH: You leave your heart... I am a doctor! You leave your heart in San Francisco, you find your thrill on Blueberry Hill!

AS: And you leave your liver on Wimbledon!

JH: Yes!

NP: Iím pleased because I think you may need a doctor Jeremy. But actually no, he was not deviating, or repeating anything within the rules of Just A Minute. So Tony it was an incorrect challenge, you keep the subject, what I did on Richmond Hill, 43 seconds starting now.

TS: I simply walked up to the top, and scanned the London skyline. Look, thatís where Nicholas Parsons lives! Over there, I see Jeremy Hardy and both of them communicating by semaphore and flashlights, proclaiming their love to each other, over the London hills...


NP: Ah...

AS: Weíve had London, weíve had hills, weíve had dongs, weíve had the lot now!

NP: Yes the word on the card was hill and hills was repeated. So Arthur at last, you have a correct challenge. Youíve been trying very hard! And thatís the subject, 27 seconds starting now.

AS: Richmond Hill is an old pal of mine. And what I did on him the other night...


AS: ...really is too disgusting to discuss here on a family programme. However let it be said that he did come away smelling somewhat of the deep tumescent whiff of the River Thames which flows so beautifully though the heart...


AS: Iím turning into Kenneth Williams now!

NP: Mariella you have challenged.

MF: Wasnít he deviating with the Thames? I mean the Thames, Richmond Hill, where are we?

NP: I think the Thames does go quite near to Richmond so...

MF: Not very near!

NP: But near enough! I think...

TS: What a fascinating discussion! How near...

NP: I know it is!

AS: So whatís Richmond Bridge? What does that go over?

MF: His Richmond Hill is a man! So how do you know...

NP: You can go off... I know you havenít played before, but you can take it in any way. You know, otherwise, itís too impossible Mariella. Iím sorry I canít agree with the challenge. Arthur, incorrect challenge, you have another point, you have the subject and there are only four seconds left starting now.

AS: (sings) Walking down on Richmond Hill, da-da-da-dah!



NP: Jeremy you got in first!

JH: Repetition of dah!

NP: Yes!


NP: A point to Jeremy Hardy, he got in with half a second on the subject starting now.

JH: Dah-doo-bee-bee...


NP: And once again Jeremy Hardy was speaking as the whistle went, gained an extra point for doing so, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Jeremy weíd like you to take the next round. Will you tell us something about Aylesbury duck... I think the audience like that, there are 60 seconds starting now.

JH: Aylesbury duck is not rhyming slang as people often think. It is in fact a recipe involving duck and Aylesbury. What you do is you take Aylesbury, let it sit for five minutes and then roll it lightly in seasoned flour, then shove a duck right into it! Then baste it in your own saliva and pop it in a microwave for 15 seconds! Then remove the sautť and leave for Delia Smith to find! Oh! (collapses)


NP: Arthur Smith you challenged.

TS: Very good!

AS: I thought it was magnificent Jeremy. And I think you should be allowed to carry on, I want to see what comes out in the end!

NP: No, I think we should hear from you on Aylesbury duck, Iím sure youíve got something to say. There are 42 seconds left starting now.

AS: Arthur is twinned with a mud flat in Siberia. In that town people often find that there are low flying geese, going by, in which case they are required to go oomph! (ducks) Like that! And that is Aylesbury duck.


AS: Other things that occur in the town in question are that great octopuses fly by...


TS: Sorry, there were two flies there.

NP: Yes! Repetition of the word fly.

NP: Yes you canít have too many flies on this show. No, theyíre all under the table at the moment. Um so I agree with your challenge Tony, you have 18 seconds on Aylesbury duck starting now.

TS: One of the best ways to eat Aylesbury duck is just pop it in your mouth and then itíll go down the digestive system through the process of peristalsis and come out the other end. But another recipe is to serve it with bauxite and... strontium 90...


NP: Um...

JH: Slight hesitation on strontium 90.

NP: Yes, Jeremy you have a correct challenge, you have six seconds on Aylesbury duck starting now.

JH: Duck al orange is a different and entirely putrid dish which involves food which i donít think should be put with...


NP: And once again, our first time player of the game, Jeremy Hardy, was speaking as the whistle went and gained an extra point for doing so, and has gone even further into the lead at the end of the round. If you want to know, Tony Slatteryís in second place, then comes Arthur Smith and then Mariella Frostrup. And Mariellaís going to begin the next round. We are now going to have an object.


NP: Instead of me giving them a subject, they have an object! Isnít that adorable, a pussy cat! Now thatís the object. Mariella, you have 60 seconds to talk on that object starting now.

MF: Well if you donít mind me saying so, and if my eyes donít deceive me, I think that is a stuffed dead moggy which is something I hate, more than life itself in fact. My mother has hundreds of them, they ran around the house, they make me sneeze and cough and often cry. This particular cat is a famous cat though. I believe it is Dick Whittingtonís...


NP: Um...

AS: Thereís two cats.

MF: Give it to Arthur!

NP: Arthur a correct challenge, there are 41 seconds will you tell us something about this object starting now.

AS: As a conceptual artist, I see this not as a cat, but as a tower block!



NP: Yes?

JH: Very long hesitation indeed!

AS: Well I was just waiting for the laugh, just waiting for them to quiet down!

JH: It had been buried!

NP: He tried to ride a laugh and got off his vehicle. Now Jeremy youíve got a point for a correct challenge, there was a pause, 34 seconds starting now.

JH: The cat is not a fish as people often think. It is in fact a mammal and has a tiny pouch from which eggs are produced and...


NP: Mariella?

MF: Itís not true! Itís nonsense!

JH: Itís seasonally adjusted, thatís all!

NP: Mariella you have another point, you have this object here, 26 seconds starting now.

MF: This object here actually belonged to Dick Whittington, and it is in fact a pantomime beep, I canít actually say what it is because Iíve been told Iím not allowed to do that. I donít know very much about the said Mister... Beep...


NP: Oh Tony Slattery?

TS: Big hesitation, Iím sorry.

NP: Yes there was, but also Mariella as you have courageously...

MF: Donít you condescend to me!

TS: Youíre in a very aggressive mood! At least Iím not behaving like Nicholas! (does impression of NP) You dirty little thing! Mmmm! Youíve got a couple of points!

NP: You know Tony, the awful thing is I am just about to give Mariella another point. She gets a bonus point because she correctly identified the object. It is Dick Whittingtonís cat. A reproduction of it. So she gets a bonus point for that.

TS: What sort of ranting, drug-induced gibberish is this? Dick Whittingtonís cat and itís an accurate copy?

MF: Thatís why itís stuffed and dead, itís been dead for a long time, you can tell.

AS: When I saw Dick Whittington, it was played by Joanna Lumley! Not that! The cat talks in pantomime! That catís said nothing! Stop going round! Youíre making me ill!

NP: This is a traditional cat as supports Dick Whittington in the pantomime which Mariella Frostrup with her deep intelligence informed us, so she gets the bonus point! Yes! And Slattery, Iím always fair. You did have a correct challenge, you get a point for that, you have this object and thereís 12 seconds left starting now.

TS: This is the thing which for many years has been masquerading as Bruce Forsythís toupee! It would probably blend in with the rest of his face because he uses coal copper, the same sort of makeup that Philip Schofield uses, not necessarily on their...


NP: Tony Slattery speaking as the whistle went and he gained that extra point for doing so. The cat is about to disappear...


NP: Yes I thought it might!

MF: Thank God for that!

NP: That sound is something wrong with its insides actually! And weíve reached the halfway mark in this contest. Let me tell you what the score is as we go into the halfway mark. Jeremy Hardyís still in the lead, just three points ahead of Tony Slattery. Heís one point ahead of Mariella Frostrup and sheís two points ahead of Arthur Smith. Isnít it exciting! Iím sure you are thrilled to hear that! After that harrowing bout of verbal aggression, itís time for us to limp off to the first aid point. But we will see you or more likely you will see us, after this.




NP: Welcome back to Just A Minute and lets plunge headlong into the undignified squabble which we like to call the second half of the show. Iím not now going to give our panellists a subject, Iím going to ask the audience to give them a subject on which they would like one of them to speak. So may we have some suggestions for subjects? Yes, that gentleman over there. Yes?


NP: Radio days, a lovely one. Yes, anybody, yes, another suggestion, that gentleman there, stand up please.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Nelsonís Column.

NP: Nelsonís Column. Yes and the same to you! Any other suggestions? Please stand up with a suggestion. Yes the lady at the back there?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: What do you keep under your bed.

NP: What do you, yes, what do you keep under your bed, I think that is a good subject. Arthur, will you tell us something about what you keep under your bed, Arthur, 60 seconds, starting now.

AS: Under my bed I keep Big Ben, Nelsonís Column, and a number of other London monuments! Because I have an absolutely enormous thing on which I sleep. This is because I am very fat...


MF: Repetition of because.

NP: Yes you did say because before. Mariella, well listened, 45 seconds are left, will you tell us what you keep under your bed, 45 seconds, starting now.

MF: Under my bed, I donít keep any of the same things that Arthur does. In fact I keep lots and lots of young men...


NP: And youíve challenged...

TS: Lots and lots.

MF: And I said lots and lots!

TS: Yes, lots and lots.

MF: I was overcome! I wanted to tell you!

NP: Yes!

MF: Now youíre never going to know what I keep under my bed, and there was a lot more there!

NP: Oh I know!

TS: Darn! Or should I say dong?

NP: Will you tell us what you keep under your bed Tony Slattery, in 39 seconds starting now.

TS: Under my bed I keep a collection of early Louis Cattier 17th century ball gowns! When I fancy going out on the town, I wander up and down Piccadilly, and someone says to me ďooohh! ĎOo you looking at madam?Ē


NP: Yes ah?

MF: Repetition of oooohh.

NP: Thatís right, oooh oooh. So now Mariella you see you lose the subject, you get it back, another point and 25 seconds, what I keep under my bed starting now.

MF: Under my bed, I also keep my family. But itís a bit of a problem because they tend to argue all the time and they tend to try and join in as well...


MF: Repetition of tend!

NP: Repetition of tend, yes. Nineteen seconds for you Tony, on what you keep under your bed starting now.

TS: Also low-cut bras, cantilevered corsets and a rubber basque. This is generally... (dissolves in laughter)


MF: Hysteria! Deviation, hysteria, stumbling and all that sort of stuff!

NP: Yes, laughing at his own jokes! Eleven seconds for you to tell us Mariella starting now.

MF: Thereís John, Tony, Fred, Nick, Arthur, Jeremy, Tony, Nicholas...


TS: I havenít been under your bed twice! No way!

NP: So Tony, ah yeah I think itís you isnít it. Thatís the subject, six seconds starting now.

TS: Under my bed I keep Nicholas Parsonsí straitjacket...


NP: Yes?

AS: Oh I just pressed it! Iím deviating by pressing it! Please, Iím sorry!

NP: I thought you were going to mention he mentioned Nicholas Parsons under his bed, I thought that was a very devious thought! Yes Arthur...

AS: Oh right! That was a lucky challenge!

NP: Yes! Five seconds are left, what you keep under your bed starting now.

AS: Under my bed I keep an enormous red balloon which... wells it up...


NP: Tony you got in first.

TS: Hesitation.

AS: It was.

NP: A big hesitation and you got in with half a second to go on what you keep under your bed starting now.

TS: Dirty Bunty comics...


NP: As we move into the final round which Jeremy Hardy will take on the subject of Maidenhead. There are 60 seconds as usual starting now.

JH: Maidenhead is in Berks which again is not rhyming slang, but short for Berkshire. It also means virginity which people tend to try and lose. Although you may find that once you have lost it, a policeman finds it outside the police station and brings it round! As it...


NP: Mariella?

MF: Police station, two instances.

NP: Yes Iíll give you the benefit of the doubt Mariella. Will you tell us something about maidenhead, 43 seconds starting now.

MF: Maidenhead means a woman of virtue. A woman whoís bright, intelligent...


TS: Too many women.

NP: Two women.

TS: A woman of virtue, a woman whoís bright, intelligent.

NP: So weíre going to hear from everybody...

MF: Iím going now! Iím sulking!

TS: No, donít!

MF: Iím out of here!

NP: No, youíve contributed so much!

MF: Iím going back to all those young men under my bed.

NP: Right Tony you had a correct challenge, there are 21 seconds for you on Maidenhead starting now.

TS: Does anyone remember the piece of frozen confectionery called Strawberry Mivvies? Itís unlikely that you...


NP: Ah Mariella Frostrup?

MF: Deviation.

NP: Whatís it got to do with Maidenhead? Nothing! Mariella you have the subject back, Iím glad you stayed! Fifteen seconds, Maidenhead starting now.

MF: Maidenhead is a town in the Home Counties where a lot of people like to ride horses, eat cream teas and look down on their neighbours live. Itís not only...


NP: Tony challenged.

TS: Well thatís just gibberish! Look, look down, look down on their neighbours live? Look down on their neighbours live! Itís Swedish! (in Swedish accent) Look down on their neighbours live!

MF: I am funnily enough Swedish! So youíve almost got it right, but youíve got no right to challenge me!

NP: Tony... (in Swedish accent) In Sweden they do talk like that sometimes. (normal voice) Right Tony...

TS: What accent was that?

NP: Tony... no, take that one away from Tony! Youíve just given him, I havenít given him the point there! No heís not going ahead, Tony! Weíre in the last round, there are seven seconds. Mariellaís never played the game before, and itís an even contest and I think she has the benefit of the doubt so she carries on with maidenhead and there are seven seconds starting now.

MF: Maidenhead lies on the banks of the Thames and is very close to Marlowe, Henley and lots of other little towns. Itís a beautiful place...


NP: Jeremy yes?

JH: Repetition of towns.

NP: Yes you had towns before, yes. Youíve got in with half a second to go...

MF: Iíll get you later!

NP: Maidenhead starting now.

JH: Maidenhead is...


NP: It was Jeremy Hardy then speaking as the whistle went. And gaining an extra point for doing so. And at the end of the round, it was a very even contest. Our joint winners this week, Mariella Frostrup and ...

TS: (in Swedish accent) Tony Slattery!

NP: Tony Slattery! So from Tony Slattery, Mariella Frostrup, Jeremy Hardy, Arthur Smith and myself Nicholas Parsons, it is good-bye until we seize the airwaves again with another round of Just A Minute. Until then from all of us here good-bye!